7 June 2016

If you’re stuck in a rut and fancy doing something different, a class at YMCA White House will put the spring back in your step. This buzzing community centre in Hampton has a lot to offer with exciting classes taking place each day, and not all what you would expect either.

Tai Chi is a popular class with Hampton locals of all ages and it runs twice a week on Friday mornings (9.30am-10.30am) and Monday evenings (6pm-7pm).

This ancient Chinese practice of slow, deliberate movements is not only relaxing, it’s good for you too, and has proven health benefits, from tackling dementia to easing osteoarthritis. Instructor Michael Burke takes the class gently through the movements in the large hall, which is spacious, bright and airy. The movements and stretches are 2,000 years old and focus on breathing, acupuncture points, regulating internal organs and joints.  A fabulous  anti-ageing activity if you will! Here’s what three class members have to say:

Emma Hearn, aged 40: “ I’ve been coming to this class for a couple of months,  and I really like it. I did have problems with my stomach, but these have eased since I started Tai Chi. I also do Zumba and aerobics here, and it’s easy for me as I live locally in Nurserylands”.

Anne Hennessy aged 74: “This class is fantastic. I’ve been coming for a couple of months now. I go to the Monday class too, so I do it twice a week!”

Lorraine Beretta, 53: “I started this class last December and I love it – it’s so relaxing. It’s a form of meditation and you have to think carefully about each movement and focus. It takes your mind off everything else going on in your life”.

If you’re free on a Tuesday afternoon and feeling energetic, a couple of hours of table tennis is a great way to exercise and socialise, especially if you’re playing doubles with a friend. Just bring your bat! Rusty on the rules and your serve needs work? No problem, this is a friendly group that welcome beginners and you’ll find in no time your game improves. Come along and find out more (Tuesdays, 2.15-4.15pm).  For a slower paced activity, indoor bowls is a great way to meet new people and improve your bowling technique – plus the weather is never a problem! All it requires of you is concentration and good hand-eye co-ordination! (Tuesdays, 1.55pm-4pm; Wednesdays, 6.50pm-9pm; Fridays, 1.55pm-4pm).

If a more sedentary activity is what you’re looking for, then Amateur Art might be more appealing. A group of like-minded people gather together on a Thursday (1.30pm-3.30pm) to paint, draw and sketch together. In fact, the group is currently exhibiting its work in the café and a number of paintings have already been sold! There are both art classes and different art groups which meet at the centre, so speak to reception to find out more details about what’s on offer.

If you’re feeling crafty and creative, then Sweet Seams on a Thursday evening (7.30pm-9.30pm) is ideal – sewing  for beginners.

Ok, so you want something totally different, fun, loud and energetic? Ballroom Dancing on a Thursday evening (8pm-10pm) for those who know how to dance will see you swinging round the hall, counting your quicksteps and jumping to a jive beat.

We also now have beginner’s Ballroom and Latin dancing lessons (Thursdays 7-8pm) for those who are taking their first dancing steps. Come with your partner, or leave them at home, as partner participation is not required.

We believe that everyone should enjoy the benefits of good health and wellbeing.